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Displaying: 101-120 of 903 documents

review article
101. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3/4
John Deely The Cenoscopic Science of Signs: Reflections on Cornelis de Waal’s Book Peirce: A Guide for the Perplexed
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102. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1/2
Priscila Borges Experience and Cognition in Peirce's Semiotics
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Peirce’s system of sixty-six classes as represented in the Signtree visual model is considered in order to show the strong relation between experience and cognition in semiotics. In this Signtree model we find twenty-four different classes of sinsign, in which we can observe signs of experience, and thirty-six classes of legisign, in which we find general types or laws. Sinsigns and legisigns are predominant in the system of sixty-six classes and they are closely related. Ordinary experiences are used to illustrate the relations and dependencies among these classes and show how a set of experiences may lead to a certain set of cognitions. They also point out one way to use the Signtree to conduct a semiotic analysis.
103. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1/2
Garnet C. Butchart Haunting Past Images: On the 2006 Documentary Film Description of a Memory in the Context of Communicology
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Dan Geva and Noit Geva’s 2006 documentary film, Description of a Memory, is examined from a communicology perspective (philosophy of communication). My analysis integrates Roland Barthes’s semiotic phenomenology of photography with recent scholarship on the monstration and hauntology of motion picture images. This integrated philosophical approach deepens our understanding of the phenomenality and temporality of mediated visual images as related to our conscious experience of them as meaningful. I show how Description of a Memory offers a visual exemplar for communicology by way of its interrogation of the embodied effect of visual images on personal memory at the same time as it brings awareness of its own complicity in shaping the possible meanings viewers may make of its unique semiotic expression.
104. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1/2
Gilad Elbom Glossematic Narratives; Or, Superfluous Information of Little Consequence: A Semiotic Approach to Literary Uselessness
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Often addressed in paradoxical terms—innovative but incomprehensible, logical but impractical, impressive but obscure—glossematics, “a science of theoretical possibilities and not of manifest realities” (Trabant 1987: 96), proves particularly useful when applied to literary texts. This study offers a brief outline of glossematic principles, followed by specific cases that examine works of literature—metafiction, murder mysteries, doppelganger narratives, novels within novels, and biblical literature—as self-referential systems of “interdependent terms in which the value of each term results solely from the simultaneous presence of the others” (Saussure 1916: 114). Special attention is paid to the recombinant nature of paradigmatic and syntagmatic dimensions, transcendent and immanent approaches to the text, and the tension between form and substance. Rejecting the notion of mimetic art, a glossematic approach based on the treatment of literary narratives as autonomous networks of intersecting functions has the capacity to register the complexity of the text with a high level of precision.
105. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1/2
Lars Elleström Material and Mental Representation: Peirce Adapted to the Study of Media and Arts
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The aim of this article is to adapt Peirce’s semiotics to the study of media and arts. While some Peircean notions are criticized and rejected, constructive ways of understanding Peirce’s ideas are suggested, and a number of new notions, which are intended to highlight crucial aspects of semiosis, are then introduced. All these ideas and notions are systematically related to one another within the frames of a consistent terminology. The article starts with an investigation of Peirce’s three sign constituents and their interrelations: the representamen, the object, and the interpretant. A new approach to the interrelations of these three sign constituents is then suggested and manifested in a distinction between representation and neopresentation. This is followed by a critical discussion of Peirce’s three types of representation—iconicity, indexicality, and symbolicity—and their interrelations, which sets the stage for a presentation of what is referred to as the material and mental representation (MMR) model. This model aims to illuminate the problematic relation between material and mental facets of signification triggered by media and art products, and other material things and phenomena.
106. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1/2
Richard L. Lanigan Charles S. Peirce on Phenomenology: Communicology, Codes, and Messages; or, Phenomenology, Synechism, and Fallibilism
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Peirce uses the covering term Semiotic to include his major divisions of thought and communication process: (1) Speculative Grammar, or the study of beliefs independent of the structure of language (i.e., unstable beliefs); (2) Exact Logic, or the study of assertion in relation to reality (i.e., stable beliefs); and (3) Speculative Rhetoric, or the study of the general conditions under which a problem presents itself for solution (i.e., beliefs dependent on discourse). This division previews Peirce’s famous triadic models of analysis. Peirce goes on to make the phenomenological distinction between communication (a process) and signification (a system). Signification or the doctrine of Synechism is the analysis of possibilities where codes contain messages. Peirce is noted for his philosophic Realism, or the belief that probability and possibility are linked to the actual existence of things or that which can become actual. Hence, people inherit the association of Pragmatism with a test of real-world application that Peirce called the doctrine of Fallibilism, derived from the qualitative logic of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology that combines apposition (reflexivity)with apperception (intentionality).
107. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1/2
Donna E. West Peirce's Matrix of Individuation: The Work of Pronouns in Attentional Phenomena
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Peirce’s distinction between individuals and singulars is examined in light of developmental advances in pronoun use. While singulars individuate tokens of types/kinds, individuals assert their utter uniqueness. Components of individuals include: qualification as generals, determinateness, and instantaneous imposition into the context; those defining singulars entail: continuity of existence, self-contradiction, and boundaries of cognition. Early appearance in ontogeny, attention-securing status, and amplified application suggest the primacy of individuals over singulars. Its primacy is grounded in the Object’s influence over the sign and the Interpretant, requiring attentional devices in Secondness, or turning to symbolic representations in Thirdness. Findings indicate that pronouns first materialize as individuals—“that” referring to any Object of focus (Dynamical Objects); later comparisons among Objects control pronoun use (Immediate Objects). In short, increased use of pronouns to refer to Immediate Objects facilitates Origo and orientational shifts, critical to symbolic reasoning.
review essay
108. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1/2
Donald R. Frohlich Biology, Peirce, and Biosemiotics: Commentaires 'Cénoscopic' d'un Biologiste
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109. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1/2
About the Authors
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110. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1/4
Nathan Houser Signs and Survival
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The themes of SSA 2006, “The Future of Semiotics”, and of SSA 2007, “Semiotics and Survival”, are linked by an initial consideration of the prospects for the survival of semiotics as a discipline. Since its separation from philosophy in the United States in the mid-twentieth century and its founding as a separate multi-disciplinary study, semiotics has faced an uphill battle for acceptance in the academy. The pervasive dogma of physicalism, which rejects outright the idea of semiosis as non-reducible to physical action, has been the principal threat to the survival of semiotics. The theme of “Semiotics and Survival” is then extended to a consideration of the centrality of signs for survival in the Katrina crisis (a matter of vital importance, in Peirce’s terminology) and a more general consideration of the centrality of signs for survival (with reference to the problem of vanishing context). A deep link between signs and survival is conjectured to exist in the ubiquitous formation of habits throughout the universe. Finally, the role of semioticians in the survival of great cities and cultures is considered, especially when signs are turned into weapons that threaten established ways of life.
111. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1/4
Yoshiko Okuyama Semiotics of Japan's Mountain Ascetics
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This ethnographic research features Shugendō (mountain asceticism), Japan’s centuries-old, mystical tradition. I and approximately fifty other lay participants took part in a three-day Shugendō program for the secular. The program is physically demanding and takes secular trainees to three holy mountains in Yamagata, Japan, where they take part in the water purification and holy fire rituals in the mountain asceticism tradition. Using the theoretical framework of semiotics, I explicate the visual signifiers of this esoteric mysticism in the context of Shugendō teachings represented in twenty photographs taken during the training. The purpose of this article is to promote semiotics as an analytical standpoint alternative to other approaches to studying culture, in this case, a Japanese religion sourced in my fieldwork. I argue that, living in today’s global age and visual culture, college students can and should benefit from learning about semiotics and developing visual literacy for their future career opportunities.
112. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1/4
Jamin Pelkey Chiastic Antisymmetry in Language Evolution
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Cross-linguistic evidence from widespread modes of language variation and change demonstrate that language evolution proceeds (at least in part, perhaps in whole) by breaking and renewing symmetrical patterns. Since this activity is identified with semiosis (Nöth 1994, 1998), these patterns-in-process establish further grounds for insisting that the science of language be more adequately situated within semiotic understanding as “an ideoscopic science and sub-discipline under the general doctrine of signs” (Deely 2012: 334). After summarizing the theoretical context of my thesis, including relationships between analogy, symmetry, and linguistic diagrammatization, I present supporting comparative data in successive stages of complexity, ranging from simple reversals of linguistic diagrams through time to the emergence of more involved linguistic mirror patterns, to the emergence of intertwining diagrams and linguistic fractal symmetries. I then point back to the embodied and psychological sources of these patterns in the primary modeling system of the human Umwelt. The essay ends with gestures toward further unexplored sources of evidence and a summary proposal for understanding language evolution as non-linear process, qua semiosis.
113. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1/4
Susan Rasmussen Voices above the Din: Tinariwen Musicians, the Media, and Constructions of Tuareg Cultural Identity in Northern Mali
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This essay analyzes the role of a famous Tuareg musical band named Tinariwen in public media representations of the Tuareg cultural predicament. There is a dual focus: on representations internationally in global media and performances, specifically in the US on television and the internet, on the one hand, and on the other, in local media and performances, specifically in the town of Kidal, Mali. In these different contexts, these musicians reflexively represent their own and more general Tuareg cultural identities and predicaments differently, to diverse audiences. Their representations have also changed over time, during alternating armed conflicts and peace initiatives in northern Mali. This essay explores the background, meanings, and consequences of these mediated performances of signifying practices as narratives of nation and imagined communities.
114. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1/4
Farouk Y. Seif Dialogue with Kishtta: A Semiotic Revelation of the Paradox of Life and Death
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This dialogue between two “semiotic animals” explores the paradox of life and death where death is not perceived as an absolute end or an inevitable aspect of life. The reciprocal and paradoxical relationship between life and death is at the core of the semiotic process. Death is an integral part of this semiotic process, like a door opening out on another transcending world with unpredictable outcomes. Not only does the dialogue reveal an insight into the semioethics of the ritualization of life and death but it also exposes the disingenuous separation between the realms of zoosemiotics and anthroposemiotics. On ontological and epistemological levels, both zoosemiotics and anthroposemiotics are integrated reality that invariably cannot exist without one or the other in mutually transparent co-evolutionary processes purposefully oriented toward meaning making.
115. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1/4
Willam R. Self, Larry Powell, Mark Hickson, III, Justin Johnston Voluntary Abdication of Legal Rights: A Semiotic Analysis of Arbitration Clauses as Miscommunication and Potential Constitutional Violations
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The authors address problems with “compulsory” arbitration clauses in contracts. Specifically, they note that consumers are misguided about their rights in such cases. In addition, arbitration clauses do not allow the press to cover any proceedings that may result. The arbitration clauses in contracts are written in legalese that consumers do not understand. The authors found that even university students had difficulty understanding the information in such clauses. An example of an actual case is included.
116. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1/4
Hongbing Yu Human Brains Function Culturally: Semiosis under the Culture-driven View
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In light of current findings under the culture-driven view, the present article proposes a co-shaping interactive relation between the human brain and culture, and a further notion that semiosis actually serves as the central link that connects external models and internal models, initiating what is known as unlimited semiosis, which coincides with the neurological process of cognition. Empirical studies on the differences of neural activities pertaining to distinct cultural modeling systems, such as the Chinese orthography, the English and the French alphabets, have also provided clear evidence that the human brain exists in an adaptive relation to the corresponding culture, in which semiosis proves to be one of the fundamental mechanisms of how culture exerts its influence. Besides the cultural specificity of semiosis and brain functions, this paper also proposes that it is essential to pay constant attention to semiosic individuality, as this will secure a comprehensive unbiased perspective of semiotic and cognitive studies.
117. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1/4
About the Authors
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118. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 28 > Issue: 3/4
Gary Shank Arisbe Two: Joseph Ransdell (5 June 1931–2010 December 27)
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119. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 28 > Issue: 3/4
Baranna Baker Mrs. Dalloway and the Semiotics of a First Sentence
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How does fiction work? How can mere words create realities that exist only in the mind of the writer and the reader, yet seem so tangible in their realness? How can the first sentence of a novel transport one into a very real, yet purely objective, world — literally word-by-word? How do the subjective worlds of the writer and reader interact with the words on the page to create similar, yet always highly individualized, objective worlds? How can semiotics function as a means to analyzing a written text in order to answer these questions about how the processes of writing and reading work? These, amongst others, are the questions explored in this paper, “Mrs. Dalloway and the Semiotics of a First Sentence”. In it I analyze Virginia Woolf ’s classic novel from a semiotic stance. Through exploring the semiotics of the novel’s first sentence, I attempt to show how we can read even the first nine words of a book and find ourselves transported to a whole, new, highly detailed world — the world of fiction.
120. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 28 > Issue: 3/4
Marcel Danesi A Semiotic Note on Accuracy and Precision in Mathematics
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The concept of accuracy in mathematics is something that is rarely discussed. It is taken for granted, mainly because the various symbolic tools of the discipline, such as the digits and its equations, are meant to have a precise interpretation within the primary referential field. Yet, mathematics is full of inaccuracies and imprecise notions and techniques. The science of limits or the calculus, for example, is the science of imprecision, since it is based on the notions of “approximation”. Yet, the calculus is a marvelous tool of science and discovery. This paper looks at this paradox in a general way considering the relation between mathematics as a sign system and its ability to glean discoveries from within its own system.